By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu has counselled on the need for the opposition to take a proactive approach to staving off potential rigging in the 2023 elections as opposed employing often vain attempts to expose poll theft.
Mpofu almost hit national celebrity status 2018 when he led Chamisa’s Constitutional Court challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial victory 2018.
Chamisa, through his legal team, went to great lengths to try and prove rigging claims against his Zanu PF rival.
This involved highlighting cases in which figures of voters in certain constituencies and polling stations exceeded the numbers of people who were registered to vote in the areas.
The opposition chief however lost his court challenge – beamed live of ZBC-TV – for failure to support his allegations of rigging through tendering the famous V11 forms.
Now with a single year separating the country from the much-awaited 2023 poll, Mpofu has urged a different game strategy.
“2023 the focus must be on ‘stopping’ rather than ‘exposing’ rigging. Stopping secures the vote whereas exposing simply gives you social media fodder. The days of challenging rigged outcomes are over. Concentrate on protecting the vote. No to ghost votes. Let your vote count,” he said via his Twitter handle Thursday.
His comments were inspired by hectic events in neighbouring Zambia in which some opposition voters were seen on social media videos taking matters into their hands amid ballot stuffing allegations against incumbent President Edgar Lungu. Zambians trooped to polling stations Thursday to elect their new leaders.
MDC, which has claimed rigging by the Zanu PF led governments in past elections the main opposition has lost, has often been criticised for failure to invent strategies to stave off alleged rigging by the ruling party.
Zanu PF has often dismissed its main opponent as a perennial cry baby who is quick to allege poll theft when it loses polls.